Baldwin Park feeling confident; Rowland realistic about start; Wilson deserves a bow

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
Baldwin Park’s impressive 30-7 victory over previously undefeated La Puente on Friday night was just what coach James Heggins was hoping for. The Braves have been physical, especially on defense, where they’re allowing just 12 points a game. “I like our energy, we’re playing for the moment and enjoying it to the fullest,” Heggins said. “The things we’re talking about and practicing during the week are showing up on Friday.” The undefeated Braves (3-0) host winless Bonita (0-3) on Friday, a game that concerns Heggins because of the Bearcats’ tradition.

Two of the Bearcats’ three losses have come by a touchdown or less, losing 21-14 to Westview, and 31-28 to Claremont.

“They’re always a good football team, they just had a couple bad breaks early in the season,” Heggins said. “We’re expecting another fight. They have great football players and they’re always disciplined on offense and defense.

” We knew this would be one of the tougher games on our (nonleague) schedule.”

Even though the Braves are off to a good start, they could get better if a couple of transfers become eligible.

Three talented players transferred to Baldwin Park from Duarte, but only Wardell Crutchfield Jr. has been cleared to play.

Demetrius Jackson, a junior who played quarterback and cornerback for Duarte last season, had his hardship request denied by CIF-Southern Section officials, and is currently going through the
Senior running back/cornerback Jerome Cox is practicing with the team and also hoping for clearance after recently moving into the area, Heggins said.

Jackson has also been practicing with the team.

“It definitely helps to have those guys there (in practice), but nobody, especially kids, wants to just be a practice player,” Heggins said. “It’s unfortunate things are going the way they are (with both not eligible), but hopefully we can get some good news in the near future.”

Tough road ahead

Rowland coach Craig Snyder is happy the Raiders are 2-0, but he hopes his kids aren’t staring at the standings.

Walnut is 2-0 too, but usual San Antonio League favorites West Covina (0-3) and South Hills (1-1) both lost last week, though the Bulldogs lost to Bishop Amat and the Huskies lost to two-time defending CIF-SS Southwest Division champion La Habra.

“It’s a big problem because the kids and their parents just look at the wins and losses and that can be misleading,” Snyder said. “I would feel happier if we were playing better and executing better.

“We had to fill a lot of holes because of graduating seniors, and for the most part, I have been pleasantly surprised, but I’m being realistic too.”

Rowland crushed Montebello 42-12, and has a good chance of starting 5-0 with games against Northview, Covina and El Monte before opening league play against Walnut.

“Montebello was not a very good football team, I thought they would be a lot better,” Snyder said. “Scheduling has a lot to do with it. I wish our nonleague schedule was a little tougher. There obviously is an advantage of playing tougher teams in the preseason.

“You look at West Covina, I thought they were the favorite going in but they have had some injuries. I still think they’re going to be tough to handle once league starts.”

Wilson gets defensive

After going 1-9 last season, Wilson already has more wins than a year ago after defeating previously undefeated Glenn, 35-14, to begin 2-0.

The Wildcats gave up 39 points a game last year, but new coach Brian Zavala, who was the defensive coordinator at Northview, has turned that around.

The Wildcats opened with a 28-13 win over Sonora, but more impressively held Glenn to just 14 points.

In Glenn’s two victories, the Eagles defeated Santa Ana Valley 28-26 and Pioneer 38-3.

With Schurr (1-1) on Friday followed by games against Blair and Covina before opening the Miramonte League season against Los Altos, the Wildcats are in a good position to pile on a few more wins.

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